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Red Hat cache move sparks standards spat

Joab Jackson, IDG News Service | April 14, 2011
By introducing a Java specification for its own Infinispan data grid technology, open-source software provider Red Hat has generated a lively debate within the ranks of the JCP (Java Community Process) over the best way to add distributed caching to enterprise Java.

Despite it never being fully adopted in Java EE, JSR-107 has influenced the design of Java cache products from companies like Terracotta and Oracle. Now that work on that specification has started again, Terracotta is working on an implementation of JSR-107 for its flagship Ehcache software.

"So much work has already gone into JS-107. It seems unusual for someone to come in with a completely untested and unadopted product and try to make that the standard," Terracotta's Pandey said.

Red Hat personnel have shown an impatience for JS-107, however. "It's been inactive for way too long, it is out of date, and the community is pretty jaded about it," Red Hat engineer Manik Surtani wrote in a blog post.

Pandey criticized Infinispan for being difficult to deploy. "Data grids are fairly complex, used by a small niche of folks in high-end applications. The mainstream found it too difficult to use," he said.

Infinispan is "only one architecture for doing a distributed system. What we're focusing on with JSR-107 is simply doing the interfaces," added Ari Zilka, Terracotta founder and chief technology officer, who is involved in the JSR-107 effort.

"The thing that is surprising is not that Red Hat wants to create a standard spec for data grids, but they are trying to replace JSR-107, when they well know the efforts that are currently under way," Zilka said.

 

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